First study of its kind reveals the benefits of droplets on leaves — ScienceDaily

Small watery droplets on the edges of blueberry bush leaves are loaded with nutrients for many insects, including bees, wasps and flies, according to a Rutgers-led study, the first of its kind.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, suggests that these droplets are an important but underexplored feature in plants, with profound implications for insects in agricultural and natural ecosystems.

“Our study shows for the first time that plant ‘guttation’ — fluid from sap secreted at the edges and tips of leaves — is a nutrient-rich source of food for insects,” said senior author Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Many insects such as bees, wasps and flies drink the small droplets, which arise on nights with high levels of moisture in soil,

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